By Brittany Feather
The adrenaline rush, 3 seconds to go. The beast is doing all it can to throw you. 3…2…1… beep! The rider pulls his arm free and desperately tries to get off. This, is the life of a cowboy. One of the biggest events where cowboys, rodeos lovers, and people who have never even seen a stock animal all come to meet; The National Western Stock Show.
The first show opened on Monday January 29, in 1906. The show ran for 6 days and attracted 15,000 people. Today an estimated 684,580 people come over the course of 16 days. The shows and its attendance has changed drastically over 111 years.
In 1899, livestock shows occurred but not as an organized event. Then in 1905, a committee combined of cattlemen and Stockyard companies chose the Denver stockyards near the South Platte River where the first organized stock show in Colorado would be held. It has come a long way since its beginning years.
The FFA program that we have at Weld Central attends the stock show every year. A sophomore stated, ”It was an incredibly memorable experience that you won’t get anywhere else.” Asia Kalcevic, also a sophomore at Weld Central and member of FFA said, “ My favorite part of the stock show is experiencing the culture, coming from an agricultural community I felt at home there; surrounded by my friends and people who understood the background I come from.” People travel from across the nation to ride in the National Western Rodeo, hoping to land a spot in the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) located in Las Vegas later this year.
For many, seeing a rodeo isn’t a huge deal, especially if you live in an agricultural community, but for those who live in cities it can be a once in a lifetime experience. People who live in cities aren’t as educated about farm life, so this is an incredible experience for them. The National Western Stock Show is an annual event held in Denver that provides a truly incredible experience for all ages. Maybe next year you will head down and check out what the Stock Show is all about.
Featured Image: By Arthur Mouratidis from United States (DSC_0259.jpg) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
Stock Show Honors Colorado National Gaurd By Sgt. Aaron Rognstad (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/246572) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Asia Kalcevic Photographer: Keith Yorgensen